The Indian Removal Act of 1830 called for the voluntary or forcible removal of all Indians from the eastern United States to the state of Oklahoma.
May of 1838 marked the deadline for voluntary native removal, many people agreed to move, however, many refused. The military was prepared to use force and did so under the command of General Winfield Scott. General Scott ordered the round-up and removal of over 17,000 Cherokees who refused to leave. So began the Cherokee “Trail of Tears,” one of the darkest episodes in relations between the United States and Native Americans. The process was swift and brutal. Detachments of soldiers arrived at every Cherokee house and drove men, women, and children out of their homes with only the clothes on their backs.
They were forced into encampments while awaiting removal. The first group was taken by boat across Alabama after leaving Ross’s landing. Great hardship and death became part of their journey. Food and supplies were limited and disease was rampant. Because of so much hardship, all remaining were carried on different routes. As many as 4,000 deaths occurred because of this forced removal of civilized Native Americans from their rightful homes.
The Creeks were from Alabama and Georgia. They gave up millions of acres of land and homes. Many were put into chains and taken to Oklahoma. Over 14,000 were removed, with over 3,500 dying. They traveled thru the Tuscumbia area and camped near Spring Park.
The Chickasaw were people from Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. They also suffered the same indignation.
The Choctaw were from Alabama and Mississippi. Over 14,000 were sent to Oklahoma, however approx. 5,000 remained in Mississippi and lower Alabama.
During the Seminole removal from Florida, a group split and entered into the swamps. There they fought the U. S. for 7 years and were never conquered.
Join us as we honor those from the past who traveled this Trail of Tears. Let us learn from this mistake, accept each other as we are, and walk together in peace.
This ride is being held in memory of all the men, women, and children that suffered died, and are buried in unmarked graves along the Trail Of Tears routes. History remembers only a few names of the vast number that were actually involved from Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations.
This is one of the most unforgettable rides you will ever take. The mountains, the hill country, the flat land, the great rivers, and the country towns that you pass through will offer some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sites that we could ever hope to enjoy.
The ride will follow the Bell Route from Chattanooga, TN through Fayetteville, TN to Tuscumbia, AL. We also have an extended ride to a different Indian Nation each year that is two days longer in duration after the initial Saturday ride.
The purpose of this ride is to provide funding for education, scholarships, the promotion of the Trail of Tears, develop historical sites along the route and other educational endeavors. The only way we meet this goal is through donations and the sale of official souvenirs that are available at stops along the ride and on this website.
(web store to be opened later this year)